Roxbury 9 Year Old Hearing Impaired Girl Inspired by Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman: Ray’s Ray of Hope
When all the headlines seem to be going to Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman for his post game rant against 49ers Michael Crabtree – another player quietly inspired at 9 year old hearing impaired girl from Roxbury for his tenacity in wanting to play football despite his own hearing impairment.
Nine year old Riley Kovalcik of Roxbury took special interest in a recent Duracell commercial featuring Coleman’s journey through adversity to overcome his hearing impairment; and eventually get a chance to play in the big game.
Thus the letter Riley penned to her new hero.
“I know how you feel. I also have hearing aids,” the girl wrote in the tender note. “I have faif [sic] in you Derrick good Job on January 20th game.”
A photo of Kovalcik’s heartwarming handwritten letter — posted from her father Jake Kovalcik’s Twitter account on Tuesday — quickly circulated around the Internet and caught the attention of the Seahawks and Coleman, who retweeted the image.
The message has been recirculated more than 1,100 times in just one day.
“The only reason I put the tweet out was so that he can get to see that he's an inspiration for my kids,” the doting dad told The Daily News. “I don't think she's ever written to anyone like that, ever.”
Coleman was recently featured in a slick Duracell commercial that chronicled his amazing journey from bullied deaf youngster to football sensation. Prior to the commercial, Coleman’s hearing impairment was a relative secret.
The fullback has always given a stiff arm to adversity, he has previously said.
“He's been so successful. He's somebody to look up to and he made her feel like hearing aids are cool,” Kovalcik, 41, who works in sales for Under Armour.
Both Riley and her twin sister Erin have been severely hearing impaired for most of their lives. The father-of-three said that he has tried to teach his daughters that they are “unique” — but not disabled — for their lack of hearing.
“She's a really confident little kid — this is what a peek into what she's thinking on a daily basis,” the father said. “It kind of broke my heart, really, she's my daughter."
Later in the adorable note, Riley lists hearing aids and a love of sports as things her and Coleman have in “comen.”
“After we saw the battery commercial on Derrick Coleman and the 20ths gave, I was very inspired,” little Riley told the News. “Now I'm looking forward to seeing the Super Bowl.”
Touching for sure – and most of all – inspiring.
Derrick Coleman – the man who overcame his hearing impairment to inspire a 9 year old – today’s Ray’s Ray of Hope!